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New Specialized Allez loses rim brakes and ups versatility with 35mm tyre clearance

Budget road bike with disc brakes starts at £1,100/$1,200


Specialized has announced two new Allez models for 2023, said to be “financially responsible” yet “irresponsibly fast”.

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The brand’s entry-level road bike will be available in two builds, the 8-speed Shimano Claris-equipped Allez at £1,100/$1,200/€1,200/AU$1,800 and the 10-speed Shimano Tiagra Allez Sport at £1,600/$1,800/€1,750/AU$2,500.

Designed with versatility in mind, the 2023 Allez is claimed to be the “lightest in its class”, while delivering “more confidence, versatility and performance than ever before”.

How does the new Allez ride? We tested the Specialized Allez Sport to find out.

Lightest in class

The Specialized Allez frame weighs a claimed 1,375g.

Specialized claims the latest Allez is the lightest bike of its kind on the market.

This comes with the caveat that it’s being measured against other aluminium road bikes with disc brakes “in the same price range available at retail”.

The frame is claimed to weigh 1,375g, painted in a size 56cm. Specialized pairs this with a full-carbon fork.

For context, Trek says a painted Émonda ALR frame weighs a claimed 1,257g (in an unspecified size).

That said, the Allez is available at a much lower price (albeit with a lower-tier spec). The Émonda ALR range starts from £2,325/$2,299/AU$3,499.99 for a Shimano 105-specced bike.

As with the outgoing Allez bikes, Specialized has used its E5 alloy, which is butted and double-butted in specific areas.

Specialized Allez E5 Disc in dove grey top tube weld.
The frame has butted and double-butted tubes.

This is where an alloy tube wall is made thinner towards the middle of the tube, before returning to its original wall thickness at the end of the tube. This theoretically saves weight.

To determine areas in which weight could be saved, or wall thickness could be reduced to improve compliance, Specialized put the Allez frame through its Finite Element Analysis (FEA).

Specialized claims this is used to ensure the bike will provide the ride characteristics customers associate with the Allez.

Goodbye to rim brakes

The Allez no longer comes with rim brakes.

Specialized introduced the Allez in 1981, and for the entirety of its life, the bike has featured rim brakes. But, in keeping with the Allez Sprint’s commitment to disc brakes in 2022, Specialized’s entry-level road bike has also dropped rim brakes.

The American brand says the switch has been made because disc brakes offer “greater confidence, power and modulation”.

The outgoing rim-brake model had, as its most affordable option, the £999 Allez E5. This featured a Shimano Claris drivetrain and Tektro rim brakes.

Now, the most affordable Allez disc has increased in price to £1,100. For this, you get the same Shimano Claris gearing, though the brakes are cable-actuated Tektro disc brakes.

The Allez Sport has risen from £1,200 to £1,600. The price jump is more significant, but the bike now comes with Shimano Tiagra components, rather than Sora. The disc brakes on this model are hydraulic.

Elsewhere, the specs are largely unchanged. Both bikes roll on a set of Axis Sport Disc tubeless-ready wheels and come with 700x30mm Specialized Roadsport tyres as standard.

A Specialized Shallow Drop handlebar sits up front, offering a 70mm reach and 125mm drop, with Specialized also providing an alloy stem and 27.2mm seatpost.

A Specialized Body Geometry Bridge saddle with steel rails completes the finishing kit.

Improved versatility

The bike can fit a rack and mudguards.

With clearance for 35mm road bike tyres, there is plenty of space for full-length mudguards. Specialized has provided the three standard mounting points at the chainstay bridge, asymmetric seatstay bridge, and just above the axles.

The additional tyre clearance opens up the possibility of using the Allez as a bike for more than just road riding.

While Specialized says the bike is still designed primarily for paved surfaces, it claims it “is surely capable of light-duty gravel, smoothing out rough pavement, and exploring off the typical beaten path”.

As with previous models, the Allez is designed to appeal to commuters, as well as those looking for a dedicated winter bike.

You can also fit a bike rack for pannier bags.

More accessible geometry

Specialized Allez E5 Disc in dove grey.
The bike has a slacker head tube angle than its predecessor.

Specialized says the geometry is based on its Roubaix endurance bike, as well as the outgoing Allez. The stack figure on our 52cm test bike, for example, remains at 552mm.

There are some small changes, however, that make the new Allez geometry more accessible to newer riders. The reach figure of 364mm is 12mm shorter than the old Allez and the head tube angle has been slackened from 73 degrees to 71 degrees.

Added to this more compact ride position is a trail figure that’s up from 55mm to 71mm. This is designed to make the handling more predictable.

Specialized Allez geometry chart

Seat tube angle (degrees)75.2575.2573.2573.2573.2573.2573.25
Head tube angle (degrees)69.570.5717272.57373
Chainstay (mm)420420425425425425425
Bottom bracket drop (mm)777777767674.574.5
Seat tube (mm)430460490510530550580
Top tube (mm)493500530541556569586
Head tube (mm)110125140155175195230
Wheelbase (mm)9849849959981,0081,0171,033
Stack (mm)519536552569590610643
Reach (mm)356359364370378386392

Specialized Allez specs and prices

The new Specialized Allez will be available in two models, the Allez and Allez Sport.

The Allez comes with Shimano Sora and the Allez Sport gets Shimano Tiagra.

Specialized continues to offer the Allez in a wide range of sizes, from 44cm for junior riders, through to 61cm. All frames are designed around 700c wheels.

The base Allez will be available in blue, grey or red. The Allez Sport comes in black, light grey or teal.

Specialized Allez Sport

Specialized Allez Disc Sport.
The Specialized Allez  Sport has a 10-speed Tiagra drivetrain.
  • Frameset: Specialized Allez E5 frame with Specialized FACT full-carbon fork
  • Groupset: Shimano Tiagra, 10-speed with disc brakes
  • Wheels: Axis Sport Disc tubeless ready
  • Tyres: Specialized Roadsport, 700x30mm
  • Handlebar: Specialized Shallow Drop
  • Stem: 3D-forged alloy
  • Saddle: Specialized Body Geometry Bridge
  • Price: £1,600/$1,800/€1,750/AU$2,500

Specialized Allez

Specialized Allez E5 Disc.
The Specialized Allez Disc has an 8-speed Claris drivetrain.
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  • Frameset: Specialized Allez E5 frame with Specialized FACT full-carbon fork
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris 8-speed with Tektro disc brakes
  • Wheels: Axis Sport Disc tubeless ready
  • Tyres: Specialized Roadsport, 700x30mm
  • Handlebar: Specialized Shallow Drop
  • Stem: 3D-forged alloy
  • Saddle: Specialized Body Geometry Bridge
  • Price: £1,100/$1,200/€1,200/AU$1,800